Ocean County GOP Takes Another Hit With Stafford Mayor’s False Vietnam Veteran Claim
A few weeks shy of his first year as sitting mayor in Stafford Township, John Spodofora confessed this week that he had lied about his service during the Vietnam War. Spodofora, who was named mayor by the Stafford Council in May of 2011, after former Mayor John McMenamin, was ousted for non-residency issues, came clean at Tuesday’s council meeting about lying about his military service. In his bid for re-election this coming November, Sodofora claimed, on his campaign website, that he was a Vietnam Veteran and received the “Medal of Valor” for his service, which does not exist. The website stated “Mr. Spodofora is a Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Navy with 7 years active duty and a Vietnam War Medal of Valor recipient”. Spodofora contended however, that he was a “spook”, a term commonly given to anyone in the military with a military intelligence class military occupational specialty.
Spodofora, a Republican, claimed prior to Tuesday’s meeting that he would address what he called “false accusations” made against him by the Stafford Republican Club president, Martha Kremer, who had raised the concerns over his credentials last month.
Republican Club Vice President, Sharon McKenna, said the club had issued a letter to distance itself from Kremer’s allegations, in a report filed by the Press of Atlantic City. Kremer had said she would not endorse Spodofora to run for mayor and would step down as the president of the club if the club chose to endorse him.
At the meeting this week, Spodofora attested that his “Feet were not in Vietnam”. In fact, military service records cite the mayor has having served in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea, while fighting raged on in Southeast Asia. Spodofora’s confession came only after Earl Galloway, a retired US Navy Master Chief, asked the Spodofora to come clean and tell the truth.
The Ocean County GOP, still reeling from election losses in Brick and on the Toms River Board of Education in 2011, has several key elections on the map in 2012. This latest incident could hurt the GOP in Stafford, and with the FBI bribery and conspiracy case against former Toms River Regional Schools Superintendent Michael Ritacco starting April 9th, it could be another rocky year for Ocean County republicans.
Related Ocean County GOP News: